Planning an outdoor cannabis grow
Towards the end of winter or in early spring is the best time to plan our next outdoor cannabis grow, to allow enough time to calmly prepare the ideal plan to suit our possibilities.
Studying the cultivation space fully, together with the assessment of the means we have at our disposal and the dedication and effort that we can provide, will mean we are much more likely to optimise resources like the time and money that we will invest over the entire process of the culture.
The previous planning work will also help us to anticipate specific situations or needs of the crop that will occur during its development – irrigation, fertilisation, pruning, pest management, harvesting, etc.
Small outdoor grow space with a few autoflowering varieties in pots
Our first advice is to recommend starting a cultivation notebook, or downloading one of the many grow apps that have appeared recently. Using this tool we can organise the grow and take the necessary notes on our subsequent monitoring of it.
First of all we must examine the surface area and environmental conditions of the space that we’re going to dedicate to cannabis cultivation. By calculating the area we’ll know the number of plants that we can grow at the same time. The recommended distance between plants is 1 meter to 1.5 meters, although if space is available it’s better if they can be even further apart.
The main environmental factors to be taken into account in the cultivation space are the solar orientation, the hours of direct solar exposure, shelter from wind and bad weather in general, and the degree of humidity in the air. Another factor to take into account in the cultivation space is access to water for irrigation.
Outdoor grow in full flowering phase
Sunlight in the cannabis grow
In the northern hemisphere, an outdoor cultivation space for cannabis should always be oriented to the south, and the opposite for growers in the southern hemisphere where outdoor cultivation spaces need to be oriented towards the north.
The hours of solar incidence (hours of direct sun), it’s always better to have more. Less than 4-6 hours of direct sun exposure will negatively affect plants, especially the production of buds.
Protecting the grow
An outdoor cannabis grow should be well protected from the wind. Given the structure of the plant, especially when it is developed and in flowering, it shouldn’t be exposed to strong winds as there is a danger that some branches will break or bend. If the impact of the wind is unavoidable, a good system of ties and supports to hold the plants is great help.
It’s a good idea to have a plan to protect against pests and diseases that may affect our crop, so we can anticipate any possible incidents. We can use some of the many phytosanitary products that are available on the market, or opt for more preventive strategies with less impact on the plants, such as sacrificial “trap” crops, for example placing tobacco plants among our grow to attract pests and prevent them from infesting the cannabis plants.
A properly designed and well camouflaged outdoor grow space for cannabis
Another important factor in protecting our crop is the discretion and concealment of our cannabis plants. It’s always better to avoid prying eyes, especially those of rippers, nosey parkers or the authorities. If we need discretion, it’s advisable to look for varieties with an indica structure, robust, wide and of shorter in height than stretchy sativa varieties that grow taller and tend tohave a longer flowering period.
Autoflowering varieties could also be a good option when we’re looking for discretion in an outdoor grow, these plants normally grow to a smaller size with a shorter total cultivation time than normal photo-dependent varieties in regular or feminised seeds.
Highly aromatic varieties are also not a great idea if we’re cultivating near to a busy place. A handy resource for camouflaging an outdoor grow is to use concealment fabrics or other elements to cover and disguise the crop.
Moisture in outdoor grows
The relative humidity of the air in the grow space affects how we set it up the plants. If the humidity is high and constant then we should increase the space between plants and look for varieties of cannabis that tolerate moisture, if not we run the risk of our plants becoming infected with any of the diseases caused by excess humidity, like the dreaded botrytis or grey mould.
Outdoor grown cannabis plant affected by botrytis
In this case we recommend the powerful and productive Easy Haze from our Classic Line, or from the Golo Line we’d suggest Spicy CBD, a great variety for therapeutic use. Both are excellent plants that are especially resistant to pathogens that thrivein high humidity conditions.
Water for irrigation
Water is another crucial factor in our cultivation space. Irrigation water must be easily accessible and not chemically treated if possible. If we’re watering with water from the public supply, we recommend measuring and adjusting the pH and EC levels if possible.
Choosing cannabis seeds
The moment to choose the seeds is another important moment in the planning of the crop, and of the most exciting. Taking into account the previous factors of space, we should look for varieties that fit as well as possible to the available area and environmental conditions.
Environmental factors, such as the humidity we already talked about, can condition the choice of cannabis varieties that we plant. The minimum and maximum temperatures experienced in the grow area, or the hours of sunlight depending on the latitude in which we are, are also environmental conditions that can steer our hand when deciding which seeds to choose.
Select seeds of cannabis varieties adapted to your environment
Once we’re clear about the environmental conditions of the grow area, next we need to choose between feminised, regular or autoflowering seeds. If we don’t have much experience or don’t have much space, it’s better to choose feminised or autoflowering varieties that, besides being easy to grow, are more discreet due to their smaller size and fast flowering.
If on the other hand we have more experience growing and have enough space available to make the selection between males and females, then we can choose to sow regular cannabis seeds.
Now all that remains is for us to decide details such as the flavour and aroma we’re looking for, the effect that we want from our cannabis, if we want CBD-rich therapeutic varieties, if we prioritise yieldor quality, total growing time of the crop, if we want the buds for extractions to obtain hash, etc.
Growing outdoors in pots or in the ground
The difference between an outdoor growcarried out in a pot or in the ground basically lies in the growing medium, the substrate for the pot and the soil in the ground. We can buy one of the many specific substrates for growing cannabis available on the market.
Outdoor “guerrilla grow” of cannabis planted directly in the ground
Commercial substrates for growing cannabis in pots are mixes of different types of peat, selected fibres, chunks of bark, perlite, etc. If they are organic substrates, as we’d highly recommend, they’ll be enriched with organic fertilisers such as earthworm humus, bone meal, bat guano, etc. These pre-fertilised substrates ensure sufficient supply of nutrients to the plant for at least 6 weeks.
If we want to grow directly in the ground we must dig a hole about 50cm deep and 50cm in diameter for eachcannabis plant. In that hole we will add the nutrients and other elements such as fibres or plant barks and mix them with the soil taken from it to improve structure and fertility. It is worth adding a product to encourage the microbial life of the soil.
Remember that before making the final transplant to the ground we will have given about 8 weeks of growth in pots counting from the germination of the seed.
When we’re planting directly in the ground outdoors it’s important to regenerate the soil.
With these main fundamentals of outdoor cultivation in mind we can plan for the most common needs of the plants and foresee any possible incidents that may arise during cultivation.
Growing cannabis outdoors is a beautiful and very satisfying process, if we plan everything properly we can enjoy the entire process, learn from it, and the planning will probably be one of the determining factors in achieving an abundant and high quality harvest.
Happy growing, great harvests and good smokes!
Comments in “Planning an outdoor cannabis grow” (1)
I’ve been straggling on starting my first marijuana plant I have no idea that planting would be this complicated, a lot of things to consider. I’m trying to grow this https://eu.gyo.green/ace-seeds-green-haze-ace-grh-r.html .I decided to grow my own just for personal use and it’s been very effective on treating my chronic back pain
Hi! You can take a look to our blog, Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, here you can find many articles that explain you how to grow marijuana. If you use marijuana as a therapy for mitigate pain, I would recommend some of our strains in our GOLO LINE or AUTO LINE, you’ll find the good plants with interesting CBD ratio, a cannabinoid very suitable to mitigate several ailments. Regards!
HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA OUTDOOR STEP BY STEP
In the following article we show you the steps to follow and the techniques to use to obtain a good outdoor marijuana harvest. Obviously, we can just water the plant and observe how it follows its natural process, but that will not guarantee a high-quality harvest. Therefore, if we want a good result, we must follow certain guidelines that we will summarize below.
outdoor marijuana growing
How to plant marijuana
Firstly, there is a wide variety of outdoor cultivation methods, but in this article, we will explain the steps to follow in a regular outdoor or seasonal crop. That is, we will focus on the natural cycle, planting seeds in March-April and harvesting them in September-October.
The first step, but no less important, is the germination. We have already dealt with this subject in other articles of our blog, so if you want more information you only must consult them.
Ideal growing medium
Once the seeds have germinated, we must choose a suitable substrate for the place where we want to plant. When the seed has germinated we should plant it in a small pot and wait for the stem to develop. When we see that the stem has grown sufficiently, approximately three or four centimeters. This is important because, if we plant it directly germinated, or with a very small size, we run the risk of spoiling the plant due to the bad weather, insects and the hostile environment in general. It is necessary to use small pots to germinate seeds and others to make them grow. Many growers are progressively changing the size of the pots from smaller to larger to improve growth. But it is not necessary, it depends on the grower preferences.
Remember that autoflowering plants are recommended to be sown directly in the definitive culture medium because of their fast cycle.
To germinate seeds, you can use the system of Tup-per, and once they have opened, you must plant them in alveolis or in small pots of small size, for example, 7x7x9cm or 9x9x11cm. The depth at which we plant the germinated seed will be one or two centimeters, depending on the size of the stem. At this time plants will need our full attention as we are facing an extremely delicate period.
We must have moist soil but not soak them as we run the risk of drowning plants. We must have them in a sunny place, but not with directly sun because at this point the plant is very delicate and we can burn it. Finally, we must also bear in mind that the place where we plant them must not have strong air currents, as they could tear it off; but it must be in a ventilated place. If we do all this, stem will begin to grow and lean, it is at this point that we must transplant it again, this time in a pot of approximately 3.5L; burying the stem about two thirds of its size. It is also important to water the plant at the edges of the flowerpot, because if we wet the delicate stem, it runs the risk of rotting.
At this point we will place them in a place where they have direct sunlight, if they can be sheltered from strong wind and low temperatures. At this time, plants will measure approximately one span and be ready to be planted in the field or taken outside in their pots.
Remember that plants should receive at least 5 hours of direct light for their proper development.
germination outdoor marijuana
Protecting outdoor plants
Once the plant is in its final place, we must protect it from insect pests, for which we recommend three main products: Neem oil, Propolix and Bacilus thuringiensis.
First of all, Neem oil will protect our crop from very typical insects such as the whitefly or aphid. Secondly, propolix, which will protect our plants from fungi such as powdery mildew and brotitis. We will add this product every 20 days and we will stop using it 3 days before the harvest to avoid residues in the buds that we will smoke. Finally, the Bacilus thuringiensis, which will serve to protect our precious plants from worms. This is very important, because if we don’t remedy this plague, it will end up eating our buds from the inside to the outside and ruining our entire crop. To avoid surprises we will start spraying at the beginning of June and repeat every 20 days, not using it 30 days before harvest.
Growing phase in outdoor plants
These are some necessary pest prevention recommendations, but what other factors do we need to consider during the plant’s growth and development phase? Fertilizers are of vital importance for the quality of our harvest. While our plant develops we must fertilize it so it develops properly. In addition, it is vitally important to control the Ph of the irrigation water. High or low pH levels have a direct influence on the correct development of the plant and, therefore, we must use a pH meter to control it.
Other care (PH, Fertilizers…)
During the growth phase, pH must be between 5.5 and 5.8 including fertilizers. Fertilizers in this period should be rich in nitrogen, which is the most demanded by the plant in its growth phase. There are many brands of fertilizers and they all have crop tables to know the amount of fertilizer to be added at each stage. It is important if you are a beginner to select the line of the same brand during the whole cycle to avoid both being short and overfertilizing. So, if you choose the growth of Atami, Grotek, Biobizz or Canna (for example), continue with all its products throughout the process. Once you have more experience you will be able to combine brands, using the one that best convinces you for growth, flowering and fattening of your buds (and all the complements you need). Controlling the other factors mentioned, our harvest will go perfect. During the growth phase we are also interested in changing from pot to one of higher volumes. Anyway, it depends on the grower preferences.
Outdoor cannabis flowering
Once the growth phase is over, approximately on June 24th, the day will begin to shrink, shortening the photoperiod of light, so, our plant will begin the flowering phase. Many growers recommend a change of flowerpot just before beginning to flower, so that the plant can face the last effort and subsequent flowering. The change of pot depends on the flowerpot that you have previously selected, maybe in the previous transplant you have already put it in its final pot.
It may be interesting to add guano fertilizers to the soil. We must be very careful when adding guano, because if we if we apply too much, we can burn the roots. Our recommendation is to enrich the soil by adding one tablespoon of guano per 7L of soil. The high levels of potassium and phosphorus contained in the guano are ideal for the phase that our plants are going to face. Once the flowering phase has started, we should not transplant or prune it again or cut eyes, because we can stop the flowering process. The only thing we recommend at this time is to water the plant by adding some special fertilizer for flowering. Keep in mind that there are more delicate moments than others during the cycle. But in all of them we will have to watch our auto-culture looking for pests, possible hermaphroditism and nutrient deficiencies.
If you have reached this point by following all these indications, you will be ready to harvest an abundant and quality product. But don’t get impatient, before cutting you will have to wait until the buds are well formed. About two weeks before you must cut the buds, we must wash the roots with plenty of water. This is done with the purpose of cleaning plant of the excesses of nutrients and fertilizers in general, leaving bud clean of products that we do not want to negatively influence the taste of our final product.
The last few weeks, once we have done the root washing, we should let the soil dry and keep the plant only water-based. Finally, a day or two before harvesting, it is better not to water the soil, so when you cut the buds, you will avoid the moisture excess inside them. If we don’t do this, buds will have water inside and we run the risk of rotting them or suffer the fungus attack.
Drying and curing of outdoor plants
Finally, the great forgotten, drying and curing. Many growers do not give importance to this phase. They believe that once bud has been obtained, the work is finished, but nothing could be further from the truth. Drying and curing will give the final taste to our buds. In fact, without a good cure, we can ruin the work of many months, so, pay special attention to this phase too.
During the drying process, the water content should be reduced from 75% to approximately 10%, taking about 10 to 15 days. The method to follow is really simple, we cut the branches, peel the leaves and then hang the peeled branches upside down, avoiding that they touch each other and give them direct light. We must also consider that they are in an airy and damp-free environment.
Once buds are dry, they are cured, which is usually done by storing them in a glass jar. This phase can last from two weeks, to two months or even a year, depending on the grower’s preferences; the better we cure the product, the more intense its flavour will be.
Dried, cured and manicured marijuana
This has been a synthesis of the different phases of growing marijuana outdoors. Now, if you have more doubts, don’t hesitate to read other articles in our blog or contact our telephone service, we hope the article has solved your doubts!